Dec. 17, 2004
WORCESTER, Mass. - Holy Cross Director of Athletics Richard M. Regan, Jr. announced today that construction will begin this spring on a new soccer stadium on campus. The Holy Cross soccer stadium will be located behind the Hart Center, and be ready for the start of the 2005 soccer season.
"This will be a tremendous boost for our soccer programs," said Regan. "Our coaches have accomplished quite a bit despite the lack of a good facility. It has been a lot of work over the past few years, and I am very happy to see it come to fruition."
Construction will begin in March on the 1,350 seat stadium. The surface will be natural grass, with spectator seating on both sides of the field. The plan is to add lights, allowing both the men's and women's soccer teams to play home games at night for the first time in school history. The estimated cost of the facility is $3,000,000. While the College is funding most of the cost, donations from alumni and friends has been critical to the viability of the new facility. According to Regan, "the support from alumni and parents has been the catalyst which has made this dream a reality. We still need to conduct further fundraising to ensure that the facility has all the desired elements."
The stadium will be the first new playing facility on campus since the debut of the lighted artificial turf field and running track in 1988.
Currently both the men's and women's teams play on a field behind the Hart Center, and occasionally on the Fitton baseball field.
"The building of a new soccer facility is a reflection of the commitment on the part of the college towards athletics, particularly men's and women's soccer," said men's soccer coach Elvis Comrie. "When we share with recruits the fact that Holy Cross can be truly a place where you can get the best of both worlds - a great education and an opportunity to play big-time Division I soccer - we now know that our facility will reflect these beliefs. We as a soccer program are extremely excited with the addition of a brand new stadium, because it will make a world of difference."
Comrie has coached the Crusaders for 14 seasons, and is tops among all-time HC soccer coaches with 95 victories. In 2002, he led Holy Cross to its first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance in men's soccer.
His excitement about the new facility was shared by women's soccer coach Deb Flaherty, who just completed her first season as head coach of the Crusaders.
"The stadium is going to provide the athletes with a great facility that will give each player a sense of pride and accomplishment each time they step on the field," she said. "I am very excited to have a new field to play on for recruiting purposes, but more importantly for those players that are already here and the alumni that have played here in the past. Those are the girls that put in their time and dedication under less than perfect conditions and still loved every minute of it. To me, this stadium is a thank you to all of those past and present players. I hope that we can begin a traditional alumni game that the past players get to play on this field."
The stadium project will also impact other Holy Cross facilities. As the stadium will be located adjacent to the Hart Center turf field & track, if sufficient funds are raised, spectator stands will be built on both sides - accommodating fans at the new facility, but also allowing increased fan seating for events held on the turf and track. A shared press box will also be built.
The Holy Cross soccer stadium is set to debut in September of 2005 for the start of the men's and women's soccer seasons. If anyone is interested in contributing to this project, please contact Bob Dooley at 508-793-2246 or firstname.lastname@example.org.